I’ve been a reporter for more than a decade and I’ve covered everything from police and fire to one of the world’s largest music festivals. Below is a sampling of my work. You can find more of it in the clips category.
In July of 1999, riots marred the 30th anniversary reboot of the Woodstock festival in Rome, N.Y. The multi-stage, multi-genre music festival was, by many pundits, pronounced dead.
A few months later, on the other side of the nation, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was born at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
And 16 years after that modest birth, the reports of the commercial demise of major music festivals appear to be greatly exaggerated.
Coachella, and its site-sharing country cousin Stagecoach Country Music Festival, comprise a three-week artistic and commercial juggernaut. And they have, in recent years, ignited an ever-expanding list of multi-day music events in Southern California and beyond. Continue reading.
The 40th anniversary of sea thriller “Jaws” is upon us. The Steven Spielberg-directed classic starring Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss left its mark on pop culture for decades to come, from tongue-in-cheek comedy sketches to the most menacing movie music this side of the “Imperial March.” We’ve ranked some of the most notable sharks in pop culture from their most menacing to the most humorous with our Shark-O-Meter. Continue reading.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival isn’t just the 170 or so musical artists invading the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
Nor is it riding the Ferris wheel and looking down at 90,000 other concertgoers, or the sunset surrounded by palm trees and mountain vistas, or the sweaty dancing to the throbbing beats of DJs in the Sahara Tent.
Coachella, which runs April 11-13 and April 18-20, is an all-encompassing sensory experience and escape that’s about sound, taste and, if only for a weekend, embracing a different life. Continue reading.
Riverside native Sarah Horn has performed on dozens of stages, but on Friday, Aug. 23, she sang on one of the most famous — the Hollywood Bowl. After volunteering from the audience for that unexpected, impromptu duet with Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, the world has become her stage.
By Monday afternoon, the video of the vocal instructor performing “For Good” from “Wicked” — posted by pal Mike Kestler, who filmed her performance on his cell phone — had racked up 1.7 million views on YouTube and Horn was barraged by interview requests. Continue reading.
MUSIC: NEIL DIAMOND PAPER DOLLS
Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena opened in the fall of 2008 and in January it landed the concert of a big-name star–Neil Diamond.
When the show sold out and Diamond was unable to do an interview, I wanted to think of a way to create a whimsical cover story that would still grab readers. I had an idea for Neil Diamond paper dolls. We hired a freelance artist and I provided the text for what became one of our most popular covers. Readers even sent me photos of their Neil Diamond dolls. Continue reading.
This weekend, the Empire Polo Club in Indio and its surrounding environs transform into an acres-wide fashion runway, a pitch meeting for marketing brands, a get-seen site for celebrities and the center of the pop culture universe thanks to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
And, oh yeah, there’s music.
Nearly 100,000 fans will watch more than 190 featured performers across six stages from Friday through Sunday — and then repeat the process with a new crop of attendees April 19-21. Continue reading.
The revitalized Fox Performing Arts Center, the crown jewel of Riverside’s downtown renaissance, opened one year ago after a $32 million renovation.
The city envisions the Fox as an outlet to attract high-quality entertainment to the area, a place for community groups to use and an economic generator to the downtown area, but the first year hasn’t always been smooth. Continue reading.
Nashville is the unchallenged capital of country music. Chicago can claim the blues, and Memphis has the Delta counterpart. Grunge? Seattle. Hip-Hop? New York and Los Angeles can duke it out.
If you were drawing the map of hard rock and heavy metal, you could make a case for putting the big red star right here in Inland Southern California.
After all, we’re the home of the Us Festival’s seminal heavy metal day in 1983. Ozzfest was born here in 1996. And a metal icon that hasn’t raged on an Inland stage is tough to name. Continue reading.
When you add it up, Gabriel Roth has a pretty sweet gig.
The Riverside native is a critically acclaimed producer and songwriter, co-founded an independent record label that has a focus on actual vinyl records, engineered a Grammy-winning song and still finds time to play bass in soul outfit Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, who perform at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday.
Granted, it is a bit off the original path for the husband and father who always wanted to be a high school math teacher. But his math training hasn’t been for naught – Roth uses those skills in his musical endeavors.Continue reading.
They’re phones. They’re appointment books. They’re calculators. They’re even glow sticks.
The rise of high-tech gadgets allows concert attendees to disengage from the experience to record shaky memories for posterity – and for posting on YouTube, much to some artists’ chagrin and to others’ promotional delight.
“The cell phone is the modern-day equivalent to a cigarette lighter,” said Robert Bledsoe, spokesman for Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. Continue reading.